What should enterprises doing business on importing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Vietnam pay attention to?

Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) have been becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam. They are widely used in many areas of life such as applications in filming, photography, mapping, transportation, and fast delivery, applications in construction, agriculture, etc. However, many UAVs used in Vietnam have been imported from abroad. Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam will present 02 notes when importing UAVs in Vietnam.


1. Import of UAV must be under the State’s approval

Although UAVs are often small, easy to use, and have many useful benefits for life, these devices also have the potential to harm the national security of a country.

In developed countries around the world, there have been many cases of using UAV for military purposes. In addition, even if the user does not intend to cause harm, their uncontrolled use of UAVs could unwittingly jeopardize air travel. Therefore, to ensure national defense, security, social order, and aviation safety, all flying devices and aircraft must be under competent authorities’ control.

According to Vietnamese laws, UAVs are considered goods that affect national security. Organizations and individuals wishing to import UAVs must send a written request to the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security for approval before applying for an import license from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

2. Procedure of applying for a license to import UAVs

Concerning the application for a license to import UAVs, traders shall comply with the following procedures:

(i) Step 1: The trader applies for approval to import UAVs at the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Public Security. There has been no regulation on the timeline for issuing the approval at this step.

(ii) Step 2: After receiving the approval, the trader sends a complete dossier to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The dossier includes:

  • A written request for a license;
  • Investment registration certificate or business registration certificate, enterprise registration certificate (a copy with the trader’s stamp); and
  • Some other relevant documents as prescribed by the laws.

(iii) Step 3: The trader will be notified in case the dossier is incomplete as regulated by the laws or needs additional explanation documents within 3 working days from the date of receiving the dossier.

(iv) Step 4: Traders will receive a written response on the results within 10 working days from the date of receipt of complete and correct dossiers.

Note: The processing time may be longer in case the Ministry of Industry and Trade consults with other relevant authorities.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

Date: 24 January 2022

Writers: Quang Nguyen & Huy  Nguyen

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